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Full-Time Working Moms Report Feeling Rushed 'All the Time'

Photograph by Twenty20

Two full-time working parents is quickly becoming the norm in two-parent families in the U.S. In households with kids and two adults, the percent of those where both adults work reached nearly half for the first time ever.

Women have been steadily jointing the workforce for decades, as both part- and full-time workers. In 1970, 31 percent of two-parent households relied on full-time income of both parents. In the most recent Pew Research Center study, the share now stands at 46 percent.

In economic terms, the center reports, families with two full-time working parents are better off than families with one full-time worker or one full-time and one part-time worker. The median incomes for two full-time working parents with at least one kid under the age of 18 is a little over $102,000 per year. For families with just one full-time working parent, the median income is $55,000, a significant difference. Similar households with one full-time and one part-time working adult brought in roughly $84,000.

The higher incomes come at a personal cost, however. A Pew Research Center survey found that well over half to he working parents aid the balance is difficult. Working mothers in particular felt crushed—41 percent of them reported that becoming a parent made it harder for them to advance in their careers (some 20 percent of the fathers said the same thing).

The findings are based on surveys of more than 1,800 parents who had children under 18. In households with two parents, those where both worked full time apparently split the household work more evenly than those where the mother worked part-time or not outside the home. In all homes, the bulk of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities tended to still fall on the mom.

The study also found that a large majority of full-time working women always felt rushed. Researchers also drilled down and found attitude about work-life balance is related to how women feel about parenting overall. Those who felt the most negative about work-life balance also tended to feel less great about how they parented. Whereas those who said work-life balance was hard, but that they achieved it sometimes, tended to report parenting was not harmful to their lives or careers.

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